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Old 06-16-2009, 10:14 AM   #1
Tricky-UK OP
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Picos & Pyrenees. Spain/France May 09

First RR on here so please be gentle.

The plan was to get the Plymouth to Santander Ferry on Sunday 17/05 spend a few days in the Picos (Spain) and then go on to wherever or whatever took our fancy. The only downside being that we had to be back in Calais (France) for a week on the following Wednesday (27/05).

We headed direct for Plymouth and were quickly ushered onto the Port Aven ready for the 4pm sailing.

Leaving Plymouth





Once out in the channel it got a bit choppy and someone had a few of these and then someone did a bit of this

It was better up at the front.



A good nights kip (ie being rocked to sleep like a baby) did the trick.

Monday 18/05


Santander Monday morning.



Down below we were last in the queue behind the Nottingham (UK) Chapter of the Hells Angels. Yo bruvers



Once off the boat we headed for an old favourite on here the Hotel Oso near Potes. No other Adv riders present this time and the staff said it had been a very quiet start to the season. Maybe its the credit crunch...



The welcoming committee.



Tuesday 19/05

Started cloudy so we decided to check out the cable car at Fuente De. Last year when we came this way I wimped out of it due to my phobia of heights. This year I was determined to “Face the Fear”.

All parked up.



Here she cometh.



I shut my eyes for 2 mins and due to the CC being full of younger people than me, resisted the inclination to scream like a big girl.

Made it. Yippee!

The views made it worth all the palaver.







Steady... I may be up here but I aint gonna stand on that thang.



Julie didn't either.



Snowww...







Very nice… BUT we wanted to go riding so what goes up etc etc

Bugger...



No problem.

As a reward I treated myself to the lovely N621 to Riano.





We then followed the sweeping N625 towards Cangus de Onis and Covadonga.



We stopped half way for a coffee at this little shop.



Shortly afterwards we got held up in an RTA, luckily no one was hurt, but the road was completely blocked. It meant turning back and returning to Potes and the Hotel.

Covadonga and its pink Basilica would have to wait until tomorrow.
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Old 06-16-2009, 10:23 AM   #2
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On the way back to the Oso I cuddled an old friend.



I know you just can't bare to look at the associated ugliness of a GS and a V Strom together...



Wed 20/05

After breakfast we packed up and headed north for Panes. We then picked up the stunning AS114 heading west to Cangas.

Empty roads and sweeping bends and err lots of sunshine.

Perfect





We stopped for a break at Cangas de Onis.



Next up was to go see the beautiful pink basilica at Covadonga.



We spent so much time there that it was decided to spend the night in the locality. I did think about if the Monastery next door had any spare rooms



I don't think Julie would have been impressed with me taking her away to romantic Spain, then disappearing into a Monastery however...

Luckily for me the Hotel next door had rooms and not to pricy either (65 euros inc breakfast).

Sweet.



More of the Church.





Lots of these little critters about.



And some strange feet. The empty spaces are where they've legged it...



Nice Chapel where you can pray and then throw flowers into the water below.



For Thursday we decided to head for the Pyrenees and use Jaca as a jumping off point.
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Old 06-16-2009, 10:33 AM   #3
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Great pictures! Man, I miss Europe! But I have to ask...what is an RTA?
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Old 06-16-2009, 10:35 AM   #4
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Thurs 21/05

We hit the motorway to Pamplona so we could spend maximum time in the Pyrenees, as the weather forecast was looking good.

Arrived at Jaca late afternoon after following the nice N240. We booked into the Hotel Mur which was cheapish... only downside being that we had to put the bikes in the underground tourist car park 1/2 mile away. Cost 10 euro's each for the night.



At least we had a good view of the fortress which looked Romanesque and Medieval. It also had it's own collection of Deer.








Fri 22/05

Leaving Jaca on the N330 we headed towards Sabinanigo and to pick up the N260. This road is great and follows the Pyrenees west to east on the Spanish side all the way to the Med.

A small detour on the A136 took us up to the pass at Portalet.









Lots of Frenchies come across the border for cheap booze and food.



Both the A136 and N260 are a joy to behold and we headed east to Ainsa.







A decent bolthole was found on the main road in Ainsa. A group of Brit bikers on various sports tackle joined us. Everyone had enjoyed themselves.





Julie found a wall colour in the Hotel that even matched her hair.




Sat 23/05

Now we had a decision to make. The weather had turned misty and wet (but still very humid) on the Spanish side so I enquired at the tourist info about the weather on the northern French side? Err… no idea was the reply we only do Spain…

But its only 20 miles up the road? Never mind if its raining on one side of the mountains it will normally be ok on the other side…. yes??? no???

Oh bollocks, lets go north anyway.

Wet road but blue sky ahead. 2



Very nice on the French side.





Found this Hotel in St Lary- Soulan. Smelt of cats pee on the stairs but rooms where ok and it was cheap.

So we booked in for two nights.



It was nice to get the panniers off the bike and we did the Col de Peyresourde and del Portillon in the afternoon.









Got back in time to see this lot having a singsong.



St Lary was ok,all be it a bit touristy.



I retired to the room to chill out.



A few cans of Leffe beer and Word Music mag.

[/QUOTE]
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Old 06-16-2009, 10:38 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pelicanglider
Great pictures! Man, I miss Europe! But I have to ask...what is an RTA?
Road Traffic Accident. Car and Mini Bus in collision, neither would move until the cops had arrived, so no way through.
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Old 06-16-2009, 10:42 AM   #6
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Great pics...

Tried to eat lunch while looking... lot's of drooling, not much chewing!
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Old 06-16-2009, 10:59 AM   #7
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Sun 24/05

More Cols!!!

First up is the Col de Aspin. On the road up we got mist and more mist. I kept thinking about the film Dumb and Dumber... ASPEN!!

Lloyd: I'll tell you where. Someplace warm. A place where the beer flows like wine. Where beautiful women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano. I'm talking about a little place called Aspen.
Harry: Oh, I don't know, Lloyd. The French are assholes.

Nice at the top mind. Lots of friendly mountain cows...











If Aspin was good then the Col de Tourmalet was even better.

Lots of snow.







We went up a little side road to get higher.



Not bad only 700 metres less than the Stelvio Pass (Italy).



But no go the other side.





Oh well more excuses for extra snowy pics.





We decended into the Andes.

Llamas anyone...???





Nice Alpine flowers gave us a reality check.



Coffee at the Ski shops.



And cheap French fuel (yeah right... maybe in 1955).



My friends had my lunch ready by a waterfall lower down. Nice...







Monday morning would see us start to head for home via Oradour-sur-Glane and the Loire Vally (France).
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Old 06-16-2009, 11:13 AM   #8
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Mon 25/05

Trying to keep off the autoroutes until Wednesday we followed the N21 via Auch, Agen, Bergerac and Perigueux. This road is a national route and made a change from the tight mountain routes of the previous few days.

From Perigueux we followed mainly D roads which although narrow in places were deserted.



Stopped for a break at Dinos Bar (? and Grill).

Thin Lizzy fans take note.



Nice painting on the wall. Well done Dino!!



We reach Oradour by late afternoon. Am sure many on here will know what happened there on 10 June 1944. But for those who don't here's a link.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oradour-sur-Glane

The new village was built after the war to replicate the old one.

View of the Church from the main street.



The other side.



There was a gathering strom as we viewed the ruins from the road. You can only enter the ruined village via the visitors centre (we would do that tomorrow).



Statue at the entrance to the new Oradour.






Tues 26/05

We went to the Visitors Centre and then into the ruins.

Walking around the ruins was incredibly moving and brought the true sadness of what happened into perspective.

No further words are necessary really.















Just like to add that if your ever nearby Oradour sur Glane is well worth a visit.
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Old 06-16-2009, 11:23 AM   #9
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We left Oradour at mid day and headed for Saumar (on the Loire) via Poitiers sticking to the national roads.

Found a cheap Hotel in Saumar near the railway station.

After a rest up and shower we explored the town and it's neat Chateau.















Nice KTM near the Chateau.





Viva La France!



Wednesday was boring autoroute to Calais and the (Channel Tunnel). We arrived back home in time for the Champions League (Soccer) Final.

Thanks for looking and hope you enjoyed it.

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Old 06-16-2009, 01:40 PM   #10
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Great report and photos.............plus a Thin Lizzy reference....cool !
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Old 06-16-2009, 01:55 PM   #11
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Thumb Added to the ERRI

These gorgeous images have been added to the ERRI (European Ride Report Index).

[TaSK]
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Old 06-17-2009, 10:08 AM   #12
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Very nice pictures! Beautiful! I thoroughly enjoyed your report. Thank you very much!
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Old 06-17-2009, 10:17 AM   #13
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Thanks for the nice comments guys.

Have some previous European trips over the last few years that I might post up now.

Thanks also to tagesk for adding this to the ERRI.
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